The Manhattan District Attorney’s office has decided not to charge Harvey Weinstein with financial crimes stemming from his settlements with sexual assault accusers.
The D.A.’s office had been exploring whether Weinstein misappropriated corporate resources to silence his alleged victims. Weinstein’s attorney, Ben Brafman, disclosed in a statement on Sunday that the office has elected not to pursue a white collar fraud case.
“The fact that the District Attorney’s Office has officially closed their investigation does not surprise me in the least,” Brafman said. “I have been explaining to them for almost a year that this inquiry was a mindless voyage as Mr. Weinstein never defrauded any company or person and always paid his own bills, or after the fact, by agreement, reimbursed the company for any personal expense. Had they listened to me early on, it would have saved the District Attorney a lot of time and money.”
The D.A.’s office declined to comment.
Weinstein, 66, faces five charges of sexual assault and rape in New York involving two women. Prosecutors have agreed to drop a sixth charge of criminal sexual acts involving a third woman, Lucia Evans, after a friend of Evans’ came forward with a contradictory account. According to the D.A.’s, the lead NYPD detective on the case failed to disclose that conflicting account to prosecutors, and discouraged the friend from coming forward.
Weinstein’s attorneys have sought to have the entire case dismissed due to police misconduct. A hearing is set for Dec. 20.
Weinstein has also faced scrutiny from federal prosecutors, though no federal charges have been filed.
Weinstein’s employment agreement with the Weinstein Co. included a clause whereby Weinstein would have to reimburse the company for any settlement costs incurred due to violations of the company’s code of conduct. The contract also included an escalating series of penalties for each such instance.